“Because we cannot compete with what the big fossil fuel providers are doing for global markets.
“So that in conjunction with net zero targets and the herculean efforts of sustainability consultants like me to aid companies to decarbonise their organisations and to lower global atmospheric carbon emissions, why on earth are we still entertaining domestic fossil fuel extraction?”
The talkRADIO presenter slammed the woman’s claims and question arguing that even if the UK met the Government’s target of net zero in 2050 “what would it achieve?”
She said: “You’re part of the problem madam, this move to net zero in a randomly plucked date in 2050 – which by the way was decided in parliament after a 90 minute debate – I’ve spent longer choosing socks than that for goodness sake.”
The audience member quipped back: “It’s not about a date, it’s about a reduction in global atmospheric carbon emissions to reduce a global temperature rise.”
Ms Hartley-Brewer responded: “We’re not going to hit it but if we did what would it achieve?”
The woman hit back: “It will stop ecosystems collapsing.”
Ms Hartley-Brewer denied that an ecosystem collapse could be prevented if global carbon emissions are reduced.
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She said: “It’s a global effort, it’s global organisations, It’s a global problem, it’s not about individual targets.
“It’s about everyone working together to reduce atmospheric carbon to reduce the rise in temperatures so that we don’t see a further escalation of ecosystem collapse around the world – increases in volatility of weather patterns, flooding, forest fires, refugee crisis – climate change is a huge disaster.”
Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor in Chief of The Economist, agreed with the need to transition to renewable energy but argued that fossil fuels were a necessary part of that transition.
She said: “There is one really important thing to remember.
“I absolutely agree with you that we need to move as fast as possible to a renewables based future.
“But in the best possible outcome we are going to need fossil fuels for that transition.
“Particularly natural gas, which is a fuel that is an important transition fuel. So we need to invest in that too.”